Monday, February 04, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 54

The Time Mookie Sort Of Caused A Cubicle Fire At Work

This one happened back when I was working at MCI-Worldcom.  One particular day, I was sitting at my desk and doing my best to analyze the business in front of me. know... that was my job.... as a Business Analyst.  In reality, most days it just amounted to me surfing the web and trading emails with friends.

Feeling bored, I reached over to my radio and turned it on so I could hear some music that might motivate me to do something (Phfffff).  I hit the switch, and nothing happened.  I checked the volume, messed with the station knob, and then checked to make sure it was plugged in.  I still got nothing here.

I checked my little desk fan that I had plugged into the same wall as the radio, and it didn't work.  Well F.  I asked the boss lady what I should do, and she said I could open a ticket with Facilities and they would come and take a look at it.  I went online and opened the ticket.  Since it was not a "priority," it probably wouldn't get looked at until the next day.  Super.  So I spent the rest of the day with no music, which is pure hell when you really want music and can't have it.  The only thing that got me through the rest of my mundane day was the fact I was taking the next day off.  Instead of analyzing business, I would be out on the golf course by myself and generally screwing off.  Finally 4:30 came around and I gladly left the office.

The next day was great because I was not at work. Yay.  But since it was the middle of the week, I had to go back to work the next day after my golf outing.  I only hoped I'd have my radio back.

The next day I rolled into the office, feeling refreshed from my day off and looking forward to seeing what lied ahead in my email.  I rounded the corner of my aisle where my cube was, and quickly stopped when I noticed the cubicle right before mine.  It was a vacant cube normally, but it was quite evident something had happened.  The entire back wall, corner, and wall that butted up to my cube was SCORCHED.  The fabric that normally lined the cube walls was burned/melted, and the desktop was definitely charred. What. The. F?  I looked at the ceiling, and the tiles above the cube were black with soot and smoke damage.  I was almost afraid to proceeded on to my desk (the next cube) because I was not sure what I would find when I got there.  Much to my surprise...I found my desk absolutely empty and void of anything.

My computer was gone.  My desk was cleared.  All of my personal effects were gone.  The only thing left was my name plate, and a pink piece of paper sitting on the desk where my keyboard should have been.  "Where is all my shit?" I said to myself.  I finally walked down to my boss' desk, and I said "Um, what's going on?"  She turned around with a very serious look, and said "Did you see your pink slip?"  But then I noticed she was having a hard time keeping a straight face and then just totally lost it laughing.

She told me there had been an "incident" the previous day when I was gone, and my stuff got moved across the room to a different cube afterward.  When I asked what happened, she said the Facilities guys showed and were tinkering with the cubicle wiring that ran through the row of cubes (per my ticket).  Just when they were about finished up, the wiring that ran through vacant cube to my cubicle caught fire.  Within seconds, there was a full blown fire going and the floor was inundated with smoke.  Thankfully someone grabbed the fire extinguisher and put it out before anyone was hurt.  They did call in the fire department as a precaution to make sure everything was fine, but they didn't have to vacate the building.  Everyone was especially surprised/shocked that the sprinkler system didn't get set off.

I...I. I'll set fire....
So my co-workers quickly started making jokes about how suspicious it looked that I was conveniently gone that day, and how the fire was related to the "problem" in my cube.  Jokes about me being the character "Milton" from the movie "Office Space" quickly surfaced, and everyone had a good laugh at my expense.  I was just pissed that all of this entertainment happened while I was gone the previous day.

In the end, I don't know that it was determined if the Facility guys did something that caused the fire, or if the wiring itself was just junk and that caused it by itself.  Its sort of scary to imagine what might have happened if I hadn't wanted to listen to the radio that day.  That thing might have sparked up on another day without warning and burned the building down.

What I DO KNOW is that I wish I would have been there, because seeing a fire in the desk next to mine would have been TOTALLY awesome.

In case you were wondering, I did not have anything to do with it, and no one seriously accused me of such.  Why is this?  Because everyone knows that if you are going to start a fire, you sure as hell wouldn't do it in vacant cube.  It's too suspicious and makes no sense.  Why would you waste a good fire on a vacant cube when there are always plenty of people who probably deserved to get their cubes burned down?

Miss a previous episode?  Click HERE

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